Ask the Center Posts

Keeping "Control"

Posted by National Center for Family Philanthropy on May 15, 2011

Our foundation has begun discussions to add nonfamily trustees to enhance and complement the skills and perspectives currently on our all-family board. How do we ensure that the family will not lose “control” of the foundation over time? There are a variety of strategies that family foundations around...

What is a Private Operating Foundation, and when should families consider this option?

Posted by National Center for Family Philanthropy on April 15, 2011

Donors and families who establish private foundations often have a variety of issues they care about, and are looking for a vehicle that gives them the flexibility to make a wide variety of choices on where to invest their philanthropic assets with other members of their families across multiple...

Donor Legacy Statements, Values Statements, and Ethical Wills

Posted by National Center for Family Philanthropy on March 15, 2011

 I work for a small family foundation as their non-family executive director. The foundation has been in existence for 25 years. In the near term, I will be sitting down with the founder, who is preparing to write his legacy. I am wondering if you’re familiar with other founders who have shared...

Family members as staff

Posted by National Center for Family Philanthropy on November 15, 2010

What is the best way to formalize the process of hiring and setting salary for a family member? LIZ WALTERS: Off the top of my head, I can think of four things that we did. The first thing was to create job descriptions. I was the only staff member to begin with, but we also created a job description...

Tips and tools for effective family board meetings

Posted by National Center for Family Philanthropy on October 15, 2010

This month’s Ask the Center features tips and tools for effective family board meetings from Marla Bobowick, former Vice President at BoardSource and founder of Bobowick Consulting, and Karie Brown, principal of KB Consulting and Board member of the Hidden Leaf Foundation. Marla and Karie were the...

Managing relationships with your legal, financial, and investment advisors

Posted by National Center for Family Philanthropy on September 15, 2010

This month’s Ask the Center features answers to questions on managing relationships with your advisors from Patricia Angus, the founder and CEO of Angus Advisory Group, a philanthropy and family governance consulting and educational firm based in New York City. Patricia was a featured speaker on the...

Emeritus board members: Curse or blessing?

Posted by Alice Buhl on August 15, 2010

Mom and Dad are aging but we want to keep them involved. Aunt Sally has been running the foundation forever but the other board members feel it is time for someone else to take over. Uncle John is beginning to get confused. The three sisters in the second generation have been controlling things for...

Family board meetings

Posted by National Center for Family Philanthropy on June 15, 2009

Q: Our board meetings have become very frustrating. We have differences because of family history as well as a couple of dominant personalities. The result is lengthy, unproductive meetings that sometimes become personal. How can we turn this situation around and get on with the foundation’s business?...

What is the 5% payout rule?

Posted by National Center for Family Philanthropy on October 15, 2008

Q: What is the 5% payout rule? A: The “payout rule” refers to the fact that, by law, private nonoperating foundations must distribute five percent of the value of their net investment assets annually in the form of grants or eligible administrative expenses, with certain exceptions....

Giving internationally when the dollar is down

Posted by National Center for Family Philanthropy on September 15, 2008

Q: How can we make sure our international grants have the most impact in times when the dollar is weak? A: An increasing number of family foundations are giving internationally. Our 2008 Pursuit of Excellence survey discovered that 21 percent of family foundation respondents make such grants....

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